Budget: High-Level Panel on Urban Policy

There is a need to facilitate tier 2 and 3 cities to take on the mantle in the future, she says

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech on Tuesday that since the “business as usual” approach to urban planning would not work and a paradigm shift was needed, a high-level committee would be established to make recommendations.

Half of the country’s population would live in urban areas by the time it celebrated its 100th year of independence in 2047, making orderly urban development critical, she noted.

“This will help realize the country’s economic potential, including livelihood capabilities for the demographic dividend. For this, on the one hand, we must cherish the megacities and their hinterland in order to become current centers of economic growth. On the other hand, we need to facilitate tier 2 and 3 cities to take the mantle in the future,” she noted.

Modernization building regulation

The proposed high-level committee would be composed of urban planners, urban economists and institutions that will make recommendations on policy, capacity building, planning, implementation and governance. She also proposed the modernization of building regulations, urban plans and transit-oriented development.

“To develop India-specific knowledge in urban planning and design, and to provide certified training in these fields, up to five existing academic institutions in different regions will be designated as centers of excellence. Endowment funds of ₹250 crore each will be provided to these centers. In addition, AICTE will take the lead in improving the syllabi, quality and access of urban planning courses in other institutions,” she stated.

Ms. Sitharaman proposed a budget of ₹76549.46 crore for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, an increase of ₹54,581 crore in the budget estimate (BE) for 2021-2022 and the revised estimate (RE) for 2021-2022 of 73,850.26 crore.

Proposed housing funding under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) increased from ₹8,000 crore in BE 2021-2022 to ₹27,000 RE 2021-2022 to ₹28,000 in RE 2022-2023. The budget proposed to increase the subsidies to the state governments from 18,139.55 crore in BE 2021-2022 to ₹37,824.35 crore in 2022-2023.

For metro projects in the country, the budget proposed ₹19,130 ​​crore expenditure while in BE 2021-2022 it was ₹18,998 crore.

Dhanashri Etihsa Sharma
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